The Bodies Issue

No. 20, winter 2023

This issue of F(r)iction seeks beauty that lies well beyond skin-deep. The writing found in the pages of our 20th publication delves into the complex, fraught, gorgeous, and essential nature of Bodies—both our own and others we may not even comprehend. Our contributors examine mysteries and misconceptions about our corporeality, confront the challenges and colonizations of our anatomies, and relish in the sensuousness of physical form. Bodies are so inherent and essential to our existences: the font of our pains and pleasures, yet constantly scrutinized and destined to one day fail us. How do we reconcile physicality, mentality, and spirituality? In these pages, you’ll discover writing—both unique and universal—told with visceral aptitude, that always gets to the heart of the matter.

Confront your fears with our Pioneering Writer Feature with Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties, In the Dream House, and the comic, The Low, Low Woods. Question what it means to be alive with Murderbot Diaries author, Martha Wells, for an In-World feature interview, in which she interviews one of her own characters… Al Ewing’s new original comic, “The Body Beautiful,” explores the lengths we might go to for a “perfect” physique. For fiction, check out Max Medeiros’ fantastical “The Pearl Growers,” Audrey Gutierrez’s sumptuous “Mouthfeel,” Hal Shrieve’s stunning “Ruth,” and Tyler James Russell’s wondrous “How to Make Space for Yourself in a World with Dragons.” For poetry, we have a brilliant Community Feature with Breath & Shadow, plus a suite from Tommy D’Addario, and amazing creative nonfiction poetry by Exodus Oktavia Brownlow. And for creative nonfiction, Robert James Russell’s “Body, In Motion” explores the awkward sensuality of early adulthood. 

Join us as we dissect what it means to have a body, to live in it, love it, hate it, heal it, and fight it. We will explore our resilience, our fragility, our commonalities, our uniqueness… all while pondering how we are exploited and exploit ourselves through our fleshy facades. 

Please Note: 

  • We may split large print orders into multiple packages. We are not responsible for any import tax you may be charged to receive your order.
  • All print orders also include access to a Digital Download of the issue.
  • Digital Downloads will be made available as a PDF file immediately upon purchase via an email with a downloadable link—so please ensure you enter your email address correctly. You will have 30 days to download the file.

All proceeds support our nonprofit mission to change lives through the power of storytelling! For more information about our parent nonprofit, please visit